Janet Jackson’s Number Ones tour kicks off in Montreal August 1st.

Ms. Jackson, I’ve been waiting to see you forever. As a child I’ve loved Janet Jackson until now. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I love her more than Michael – but definitely comparable. I even adore the Control album. Tonight was the first Janet Jackson concert I’ve ever been to. It was held at the Montreal Bell Centre. Only half of the theatre was open, as it was supposed to be an “intimate” show. Intimate, it was. With about 10,000 fans – that’s about as intimate as it gets with Janet Jackson. The tour is called #1s – so she plays 35 of her hits and it’s “all for you” – all for the fans.

So here’s what happened:

We’re supposed to get there for 8:30, when the show was supposed to start. About an hour goes by – in fact – one entire hour goes by and the crowd starts to go wild. Janet had finally arrived. Kicking off the concert with the music video for “All for you” dedicated to the beautiful people of Montreal. Then, slowly, the band starts to set up and the momentum builds – finally: Janet Jackson is on stage. She looks better than ever, with long curly hair like back in the 80s and looking fantastic and in great shape despite being 45. The crowd is kinda dead at first. A few older people leave (I guess this wasn’t what they signed up for – not exactly your typical Jackson 5 tunes). She starts off with the hits from Control, then shows clips of herself in TV shows like Different Strokes and movies like Poetic Justice. She moves on to Rhythm Nation intermittently, skims over Velvet Rope by providing a slideshow of pictures of her and small clips of the songs (really, I could have done that on iTunes by myself), and then gets into some of her ballads like Again, Let’s wait a while, Come back to me, etc. Then come all of the songs from “janet.”  – the crowd goes crazy again. The dancers are great, but there are no special effects – like the kinds we used to see in all of her other concert videos. In fact, the really upsetting part is the she is lip-synching the entire concert. It seemed pretty effortless if you ask me. All of that build- up and not even full songs – just half songs. The breaks were longer than the sets. She would put in breaks with slideshows and random music. During one such break the band played a strange version of “what about that” without vocals (the only tribute to Velvet Rope).

True Janet Jackson fans were disappointed. She should have put in a little more effort – all for the fans. She kept saying she loves us and thanked the fans for their support on behalf of her whole family. She didn’t say anything about Michael, but sang Scream – it would have been nice to hear just one MJ song, but she didn’t bring him up other than in one slideshow where she showed pictures of him and her throughout the years.

At the end of the concert my voice is strained from screaming and singing – and I wonder – how is her voice doing? I think I used mine way more than she used hers! I have to give her some credit though, she did some dancing and it was fabulous. Not to mention the heart she made with her hands for us. She hearts us very much. And we heart her back.

The show is over at 10:40 pm. That’s all the love we get Janet? I still love you but…I want more!!!

You gotta hand it to her though – she still has it!  This is her in 1990.

And this is her last night.

Nika Naimi


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